I am writing to urge Norton voters to vote for Issue 42, the Norton schools bond issue, on Tuesday.

Norton has been divided a long time over various issues. It is unfortunate that those divisions have taken the spotlight off the community’s most important asset, its children.

The Norton schools have experienced years of academic, artistic and athletic successes that should instill pride and appreciation in Norton citizens. The school board and administrators have produced a district where students excel, while spending is low.

Board members have listened to voters and kept tax requests low. They planned for the future with land purchases in a location that was desired by Norton voters.

The bond issue is a necessity, not a frill. Norton needs to move its stadium and vacate old buildings that no longer can provide the educational environment that our children need. The state-planned widening of Cleveland-Massillon Road only hastens the needs that already exist.

The Norton schools have worked hard on developing a plan that solves these issues in an affordable way.

The state of Ohio would pay 51 percent of the core project. Norton voters would provide the rest of the funding for the core project and locally funded initiatives.

The cost for a taxpayer with a house valued at $100,000 would be $11.35 per month. That amounts to one pizza.

Even with the passing of this issue, Norton taxpayers would enjoy the second-lowest property tax rate for schools in Summit County.

With a vote for the issue, Norton students would get a new high school with an auditorium.

The building is limited to a certain size by the state, which ensures that what is built is only what is absolutely needed.

A vote for the issue means a new stadium and adequate practice fields. This stadium will be just the basics, nothing extravagant.

All of our middle school and elementary students will move to current buildings that will be better suited to provide them the education they need. This is a sensible and cost-efficient plan.

I attended Grill, Norton Middle School and Norton High School and have taught in Norton for nearly 20 years. I have never seen such unity on an issue. All six candidates for the Norton school board have endorsed this issue. The Norton City Council has unanimously voted its support, as well as many of the candidates running for the council.

I have seen a large number of senior citizens who have not only expressed support for the bond issue but also volunteered to help in its passage.

I ask all citizens of the Norton schools to please vote for Issue 42.

Charles Kaufman

Doylestown

Progress at ?Portage Crossing

As a lifelong resident of Cuyahoga Falls, I have followed with interest the complaints from City Council members about the development incentives and “giveaways” provided to Stark Enterprises for the Portage Crossing project.

It’s easy to criticize from the sidelines. The big picture is that in 2007 the blighting influences of the nearly abandoned State Road Shopping Center were threatening to overcome a great part of the Falls.

No one would have tolerated any mayor, much less Don Robart, simply doing nothing about this decay. The city is lucky to have the development tools available that were used by the mayor to bring Portage Crossing to fruition.

Our council members should not be second-guessing the details of what tools were used and to what extent unless they can prove they could have secured a better deal, which, of course, they can’t.

No one is happy about the fact that tax breaks and giveaways are now a minimum expectation of the developers, but until state law is changed, refusing to use these tools would be unilateral disarmament in the battle for the future of our community.

Deborah Graef

Cuyahoga Falls

Keep Hartville ?financially sound

In August 2012, Hartville’s Village Council voted to amend and replace all previous ordinances dealing with the village income tax.

The ordinance eliminated the 1 percent income tax credit for residents who pay local income tax to another community.

It was the council’s determination that the village could no longer afford the credit, and that all wage earners living or working in the village should pay the 1 percent local income tax, thereby increasing revenues for the general fund.

No portion of the income taxes paid by village residents to other municipalities is returned to the village — there is no reciprocal agreement that provides for sharing of these income taxes.

All wage earners in the village have been paying the 1 percent local income tax since the beginning of this calendar year.

Issue 28, if passed on Tuesday, would reinstate the income tax credit. This would be a financial setback for the village.

Aided by the credit elimination, the village has been able to avoid deficit spending by controlling expenditures. Our fund balance has increased enough to have sufficient operating reserves, and we have no indebtedness for general operations.

Looking ahead, however, there is much that needs to be done: maintenance and repairs on our streets and alleys, replacing aging equipment and creating additional space for the police department.

These projects will not happen as forecasted and would be further delayed if Issue 28 passes.

A vote for Issue 28 is not in the best interest of the village. I strongly urge a vote against Issue 28.

Richard Currie

Mayor

Hartville

Milkovich stood ?with workers

I was surprised to see that both the Norton and Barberton police have endorsed Republican Diana Stevenson for clerk of the Barberton Municipal Court.

How quickly we forget that Republicans in the legislature worked very hard to take away the collective bargaining rights of police through passage of Senate Bill 5.

Zack Milkovich stood by working people, ensuring that collective bargaining rights were maintained. I guess, in the end, you get the government you ask for.

Nancy Shipe

Akron

Metro Parks ?at your service

A big thank-you to a Metro Parks ranger and two maintenance men. I was at a quilt workshop at Sandy Hollow cabin. My iPhone was tossed in the trash.

The Apple Store at Summit Mall was gracious, looked in iCloud and told me where my phone was.

I called Metro Parks, and the three men from the park district came down on Sunday and helped me to dumpster dive to find the phone.

We have great people in the Metro Parks. Thanks.

Ruth E. Wilson

Stow

Ready to help lead ?the Green schools

I am writing in support of Katie Stoynoff’s candidacy for the Green Board of Education.

I don’t do this for just anyone, but I believe so strongly in her potential to lead our children’s schools that I felt compelled to write on her behalf.

Stoynoff has spent her life around education. She currently serves as assistant director of the writing program at the University of Akron. She knows what our kids need to succeed in college and the workplace.

She also understands both the Common Core curriculum and the challenges that districts have with its implementation.

As the Education Policy Fellow at Innovation Ohio, as well as the legislative author of a national award-winning education funding and reform bill, I know the impact of state policy at the local level.

Stoynoff does, too. She will hold our state legislators accountable for providing the thorough and efficient system of public schools the Ohio Constitution demands, as she did when I was a state representative.

With the increasing reduction in state funding, school districts will face additional challenges related to providing an education for students that prepares them for the future, while at the same time respecting the limits of taxpayers.

I am confident that Stoynoff knows these challenges and will use her skills and experience to overcome them.

As an overseer of a budget that is primarily made up of our property taxes, any school board candidate must demonstrate both an impeccable record of paying property taxes in the community they wish to serve and responsible stewardship of their own finances.

I consider these requirements to be a minimal candidate threshold.

Stoynoff owns her home in Green, has never been delinquent on property taxes, has never been foreclosed on and has never filed for bankruptcy. I urge the residents of Green to vote for one of their own, Katie Stoynoff, for school board.

Stephen Dyer

Green